A Barrage of Flashbacks–and Pendulation

content warning: domestic violence, weapons I’m charging down the American Tobacco Trail when the apprehension hits. My mind is swirling with the stories of women I’ve seen posted to social media as a rash of abortion bans has inflamed the nation.  A procession of small children approaches on the trail. I move around them into the … Continue reading A Barrage of Flashbacks–and Pendulation

Boston Buddies: Getting By With A Lot Of Help From New Friends

During another shit day I'm barely surviving I remember how if I'm running Boston I'd better figure out how to get myself there.  It's been months of slow, disappointing training runs after I seemed to be doing so well.  I remember squealing jubilantly in the morning as I got my confirmation from BAA that my … Continue reading Boston Buddies: Getting By With A Lot Of Help From New Friends

Grief and Longing, Loneliness and Depression

We were supposed to have a holiday party together. Though it’s been off my calendar for weeks, I haven’t forgotten. There’s a snowstorm coming in.  We'd talked about how much fun we'd have sequestered at his place during the first snowstorm, so I am sick with grief and dread and missing him.  All day long … Continue reading Grief and Longing, Loneliness and Depression

A Bad Day, Kindness and Grace

I sit huddled into the corner of the couch at home, surrounded by pillows, wearing my oldest ugliest yoga pants and a mismatched flannel.  My eyes are twitching so hard I can hear it, my head throbs and every so often I break into great, gasping sobs. I try working; I have to fix my … Continue reading A Bad Day, Kindness and Grace

Training Failure and Small Comforts

I'd be pissed that it's Thanksgiving morning, but I'm too tired and and defeated to be pissed.  I'm foregoing one of my most beloved and gratifying personal traditions this year because I'm simply too depressed and exhausted; I can't.  I'm really sad about it and I've gotten another night of terrible, fragmented sleep so basically … Continue reading Training Failure and Small Comforts

Repetition Compulsion and the Heart’s Quest for Home

Last year around this time I was at the tail end of a brief relationship with my old favorite training partner.  I wasn't even a year out from leaving my abuser, I hadn't been dating; I was terrified of male attention.  Scott and I had known each other for years.  We ran together all the … Continue reading Repetition Compulsion and the Heart’s Quest for Home

The Barometric Pressure of Unresolved Trauma (1/2)

content warning: drug abuse, suicidal ideation I miss him and haven't heard from him so I send tender, vulnerable text messages.  His responses are terse and defeated.  In the language of marriage research, we've played out the demand/withdraw dynamic--except that I've set aside my defenses in hopes of helping my partner feel safe, and when … Continue reading The Barometric Pressure of Unresolved Trauma (1/2)

Sprinting, Self-Care and the Myth of Mara

We talked on Friday and didn’t begin speaking for a long time. As he held me in his arms, as I took in his heartbeat and the scent of his skin and my own sense of homecoming, I let go of so many words I’d thought of to say. I finally offered simply, “I was … Continue reading Sprinting, Self-Care and the Myth of Mara

Approaching peril, do I trust my feet?

As I prepare to leave in the semi-dark, my friend continues to sleep in the other room.  I strap on my running watch and consider whether to conceal my stun gun, just in case.  He doesn't even wake up this early, I remind myself.  He doesn't know where I'm staying now or which trail I'm … Continue reading Approaching peril, do I trust my feet?

Five Minutes

I hit the trail as the sun is setting; with the entire wood seemingly to myself, I push my toes aggressively into the dirt as I walk.  I do not limp.  I pick up pace.  I feel the toes of my right foot a little tighter, a little weaker, but they comply.  The remaining sunlight...

Here Comes The Sun

That's not an unusual morning--some ugly dream and then I wake up feeling awful.  Naturally, I want to go back to sleep and try again--maybe I won't feel so tired and desperate.  I understand that each choice I make will either take me deeper into that black pit of despair--or out of it.  The coming out won't be fast, it won't be painless...

Face The Day

Running is like breathing to me--as natural, as simple, and as necessary.  Without it I often feel like I can't breathe--a great deal of my best coping happens as my feet beat a steady rhythm on the trails.  In the woods, I feel powerful and fast--that pushes back against the anxiety and fear. I've let out a lot of anguish in the shelter of the trees.  I've passed so much joyful time...

Letting Love Carry Me

I ran my marathon in November--and my community helped me exceed my fundraising goal well ahead of schedule.  It was really moving for me.  The thing is, I wanted that to be the end of my lesson in asking for help and trusting the universe.  Asking for that money was uncomfortable, and vulnerable--but initially, I couldn't even admit...

A Wounded Healer

I struggle with deep shame over my mental illness.  Though I'm very clear it is not my fault, though I know that this is a response common to trauma survivors--the shame is very real, very persistent, and very convincing.  It tells me that I am too powerless, too broken, that I will never recover or experience healthy love.  I am so afraid that these things are true, I'm tempted to stay silent in...